World

Iran deal reached, Obama hails step towards 'more hopeful world'

16 July 2015 - 41   - 0

Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of negotiations with an agreement that could transform the Middle East. U.S. President Barack Obama hailed a step towards a "more hopeful world" and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said it proved that "constructive engagement works". But Israelpledged to do what it could to halt what it called an "historic surrender". The agreement will now be debated in the U.S. Congress, but Obama said he would veto any measure to block it.
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"This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction," Obama said. "We should seize it." Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. Iran will mothball for at least a decade the majority of its centrifuges used to enrich uranium and sharply reduce its low-enriched uranium stockpile. The agreement is a political triumph for both Obama, who has long promised to reach out to historic enemies, and Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce the isolation of his nation of 80 million people. Both face scepticism from powerful hardliners at home in nations that referred to each other as "the Great Satan" and a member of the "Axis of Evil". "Today is the end to acts of tyranny against our nation and the start of cooperation with the world," Rouhani said in a televised address. "This is a reciprocal deal. If they stick to it, we will. The Iranian nation has always observed its promises and treaties." Delighted Iranians danced in the streets of Tehran, whole motorists sounded car horns and flashed victory signs in celebration after the announcement a deal they hope will end years of sanctions and isolation. For Obama, the diplomacy with Iran, begun in secret more than two years ago, ranks alongside his normalization of ties with Cuba as landmarks in a legacy of reconciliation with foes that tormented his predecessors for decades. "History shows that America must lead not just with our might but with our principles," he said in a televised address. "Today's announcement marks one more chapter in our pursuit of a safer, more helpful and more hopeful world." Iran

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